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A DIFFERENT KIND OF TOOTHY CRITTER - - - 10 messages. Showing 1 through 10.
The Fisher
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 08:56 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
In the Northland fishing circles when you hear of a "toothy critter" it normally refers to a pike or a muskie. However, there is another toothy critter that can grow to large sizes, is a beast of a fighter, can slice lines like a knife, and receivers virtually no attention as far as fishing pressure.

I refer to the lowly gar. The true giants are alligator gars and typically live in more southern river systems. However, there are excellent populations of other nice sized gar species in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa rivers, lakes, and streams.The long and shortnose gars fill that bill. The Minnesota state record was over 50 inches long, weighing just under 17 pounds , and caught on the St Croix. Wisconsin's record is a little over 21 pounds and over 50 inches long as well. Same is true for Iowa..over 50 inches and a little under 18 pounds.


I recall fishing several Muskie tournaments in Wisconsin a few years back where the gars were front and center. One tournament in particular was held on the Island Chain of Lakes over about 40 miles north of Chippewa Falls. My fishing partner and I boated about ten of those brutal gar during the 2 day tournament. They averaged around 10-12 pounds would be my guess and fought every bit as well as a muskie or pike of similar size. They were caught on jigs, Grandma minnowbaits, and even a few on a giant Rattletrap! They were up shallow for their spawn and were on the prowl for food. We had gar follow almost every cast it seemed for those two days...now if you muskie fish you can imagine how this affected you. You are ALWAYS watching for this wake or flash, or shadow behind your lure. It was there on every couple of casts. The problem was not many of those follows were muskies..we did boat 2 legal muskies in the tournament...but having those gar all over the place sure made it exciting!

I now try and catch them when I see them schooling. It is a blast and somewhat similar to catching pike and muskies. I have never eaten one but guys who do say to skin them then cut the meat into steaks and grill it up. They claim it is a wonderful white, flaky meat.

Here is a website I stumbled across for those who might want to learn a little about fishing for another species from time to time. A species that can be a brutal tackle buster and a lot of fun to pursue.

http://www.garfishing.com/

Good Fishing To Ya,

Jason "The Fisher" Pence
WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 09:07 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
smile smiley



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john
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 09:11 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
Now that is one ugly fish!


John
john
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 09:17 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
Speaking of ugly fish...














John
nofishfisherman
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 09:23 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
The gar is one fish I have yet to set a hook into.

I think I'll avoid all those fish in the pictures.


The Fisher
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 09:39 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
Came across this cleaning process and recipe for those who might be brave enough to give it a try.....

....From Gar Getters....

-Tools needed – Hack saw, metal shears, fillet knife

Cut behind pectoral fin with hack saw to remove head. Cut in front of caudal fins (fins near the tail) to remove tail section.

Using metal shears, cut along lateral lines from front to back.

After cutting through the armor type covering on both sides firmly grasp the top front and pull while using the fillet knife to separate meat from scale.

Remove any dark red meat. After the white meat is exposed cut it away from the backbone, and use it in one of the many different recipes for gar, or create one of your own.

“DO NOT EAT THE EGGS”

There is evidence that roe of the female gar is poisonous to warm blooded animals.

RECIPE FOR GAR

Marinating the meat at least four hours in half apple cider vinegar and half water will produce a zesty flavor.

2 lbs. Gar meat, small chunks
1 lb. Potato, mashed
2 large onions, chopped fine
1 cup parsley, green onions & celery tops, all chopped fine
½ cup prepared yellow mustard
½ cup vinegar
Flour & cooking oil

Make a sauce by mixing prepared yellow mustard and vinegar. Follow by mixing the fish, potatoes, onions and vegetables together. Shape the mixture into balls approximately 1 ½ inch in diameter. Roll in mustard sauce, dredge in flower and deep fry until golden brown.


As a guy you have to love it when the process of fish cleaning calls for ,.." Tools needed – Hack saw, metal shears, fillet knife" ...

Ahh..I can feel the testosterone surging as I just contemplate it all!
nofishfisherman
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 09:46 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
sounds tasty



Bobber Down
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Joined 10/03/2005
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 09:57 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
After looking at all of those pics, I may NEVER swim again!


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Gotta Run

nofishfisherman
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Daily Subscription Msg 9 Posted: 10:25 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
I have leanred not to swim with a cut on the leg. Those stupid little sunnies will turn into piranhas when there is blood in the water. They will attack the wound like crazy and it hurts.


Bkchero
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Daily Subscription Msg 10 Posted: 11:14 AM 07/25/07 (CST)
I've caught plenty of them gars down here in Fla. They do put up a pretty good fight, and they can get big. I have never tried to eat one, but we did try to use one for bait in a crab trap once. Problem was, as the cleaning article says, you can't cut them w/a knife, you need a saw and metal shears, and we didn't have those, so we threw it in the trap whole and hoped the crabs would be able to eat through it.

The one fish in the pics looks like a lingcod, which is caught off Alaska & the Pacific Northwest. They are supposed to be really good eating. Not the prettiest creatures though. . .
A DIFFERENT KIND OF TOOTHY CRITTER - - - 10 messages. Showing 1 through 10.
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